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Keeping Schools Safe From Violence

Updated on October 2, 2013
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In Gastic's article "Students and school adults: Partners in keeping schools safe," the author discusses the importance of students and teachers working together to end the violence at schools by discovering weapons brought on campus, having the courage to speak up and report them to authorities and even handle dangerous situations when they arise.

The author states simply that students that feel supported by their peers and by their teachers at school are less likely to bring weapons onto the school grounds. With the addition of a partnership between students and teachers to keep the school weapon and violence free, he feels like the problem would not be quite so bad to handle.

According to the state’s Safety Reporting System, statistics were found that showed that “school staff found 3.6 times as many weapons as metal detectors [already in the school, and] students found more than twice as many” (Gastic, 2010, p.269).

Not only did the author feel like metal detectors were part of the problem in creating an atmosphere for school violence, but that the students and teachers trying to help were not properly trained on how to handle crises involving weapons when they happened.

With the necessary knowledge, support and training, teachers and students partnering up will create the “sense of belonging and community” that is so desperately needed to reduce school violence.

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The author points to two specific arguments in his article. He discusses the need for students in the school to feel support from their peers and teachers, but he also discusses the fact that a lack of training on the part of the school for handling these situations is hindering anything being done to help the problem and that the presence of metal detectors is promoting a distrust in students which is inflating the problem rather than helping.

Both seem like reasonable arguments. If training is given and an awareness of the violence and how to handle it is given to students and teachers alike, not only will the students bringing weapons to school be more aware of others looking for those weapons, but may know how to handle the situation themselves.

That may then promote more of a trustworthy and supportive community in the school setting allowing for the metal detectors to be removed.

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The problem is much bigger than it seems. It would be nice to think that it could be handled simply by training the students and the staff, and promoting more of a community setting in the school, but research shows that this problem is more of a learned behavior on how to handle problems rather than a support problem.

These children are learning these lessons from home and from their friends, due to a lack of home. Gangs and violent groups become the families and support for these children.

Violence in students then becomes support for the “family” and loyalty, which are much bigger than feeling supported by the teachers at school. Not that these children could not be helped by having new support groups at school, it just does not seem like it could be that quick of a fix or it would already have been solved.

References

Gastic, B. (2010). Students and school adults: Partners in keeping schools safe (Online Article). Journal of School Health, (80)6, 269-270. Retrieved May 20, 2010, from the Education Research Complete database: http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=5&hid=9&sid=6dbe9540-6554-42c8-959b-8e85f47a5e42%40sessionmgr13.

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© 2013 Victoria Van Ness

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